The House of Blue Light is the 12th studio album by Deep Purple; their second since the reunion with Gillian and Blackmore and therefore the sixth studio album overall by the MKII line up.
Their previous album, Perfect Strangers, had been successful and acclaimed, mixing the style of their most famous album, Machine Head, with a (at the time) modern edge.
While their previous album made some minor concessions to the sounds of the 1980s, The House Of Blue Light takes this idea much further, incorporating much more distinctly 80s sounds and styles, in addition to a production job which was a little bit more 80s than Perfect Strangers. Furthermore, while Perfect Strangers was mostly driving and had a rock attitude, `Blue Light is slicker and more like a collection of hit singles than an album of light and shade.
A fair amount of long-time Deep Purple fans were turned off by this album, either because they had a stylistic problem, or just because it was seen as a weak album in terms of songwriting. Consequently, you won't find the band really supporting anything off of this album live.
In all fairness, there are undoubtedly better Deep Purple albums available, but even so this is hardly an abomination. Tracks like `The Unwritten Law,' showcase Paice's drumming skills, `Mad Dog,' 'Strange Ways,' and `Black & White,' all have the driving sound that made the previous album so good. Finally even those who don't like the album can agree on `Hard Lovin' Woman,' one of the heavier tracks on offer.
In summary; The House of Blue Light is still a fairly good Deep Purple album, but perhaps too 80s in places. For newcomers, it is definitely not the first album you should get by the band, but you should still think about adding it to your collection eventually.